Preservation, Road Trips

Touring the Huddleston Farmhouse, part 2: the interior

The Huddleston FarmhouseI’ve stopped by the Huddleston Farmhouse several times on my many tours across Indiana’s National Road. In case you missed it, check out the exterior and grounds here. But I never managed to stop on a day when the house was open for a tour. When I attended the Midwest Byways Conference in August just down the road in Richmond, hwoever, Indiana Landmarks threw the doors open wide one afternoon for us attendees.

The ground floor, which used to contain three guest rooms, has been converted into an interactive educational experience about the National Road and its history. The top floor, which used to be bedrooms for the Huddleston family, is now office space for Indiana Landmarks and for the Indiana National Road Association. But the middle floor has been restored and furnished as it would have been when the Huddlestons lived here. First, the kitchen.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

The Huddleston Farmhouse

The Huddleston Farmhouse

Just off the kitchen is this dining room.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

After dinner, the family would move to this room to spend the evening together.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

The Huddleston Farmhouse

The Huddleston Farmhouse

And when the Huddlestons had guests, they received them in this formal parlor.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

The Huddleston Farmhouse

The Huddleston Farmhouse

The upstairs was not open to tours as it is now office space for Indiana Landmarks and the Indiana National Road Association. But here’s the staircase up there anyway.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

And the house’s original configuration included no stairs to the ground floor, as those were guest rooms and accessible only from the outside. But in the restoration these stairs to those rooms were added, so that tours could visit the ground-floor National Road exhibit without having to step outside first.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

If you’d like to tour the Huddleston Farmhouse, you can make an appointment. See this page for more information.

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Preservation, Road Trips

Touring the Huddleston Farmhouse, part 1: the exterior and grounds

It’s a commanding presence on the National Road, this, the Huddleston farm. It’s in Wayne County, between the towns of Cambridge City and Mt. Auburn, on the south side of the road. You first see the big house itself, built in 1841, as you approach along what is now US 40. It is just steps away from the road.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

When John Huddleston built it, the road was much narrower and so was a little farther away from the house. But the house was still plenty close to the road so travelers wouldn’t miss it, as Huddleston opened his home as an inn for travelers. He operated it with his wife Susannah and their 11 children.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

Travelers rested in the yard, on the porch, or in one of three rooms on the house’s ground floor. In those days, those rooms were accessible only from the outside. Travelers could also rent one of two kitchens, which I presume were in outbuildings.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

While travelers used the rooms on the ground floor, the Huddlestons lived in the upper two floors. A kitchen, dining room, family room, and parlor are on the middle level, and the family slept in rooms on the upper level. Later this week I’ll share photos I took of the middle level, which is arranged and decorated with period-correct furnishings.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

On the grounds you’ll find buildings that were a pump house, a smoke house, a large barn, and a small barn. The large and small barns are the two photos above. The smoke house is the photo below; it is a reproduction and the only non-original building on the property.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

Below is the pump house, built over the well.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

It was just a few steps outside from the kitchen to retrieve water. That was pretty modern in 1841.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

Indiana Landmarks has owned this property since 1966 and restored it in the 1970s. The house’s brick was originally not painted, but Landmarks painted it in the restoration. I’m not sure they’d do the same today, but the standards of preservation were different in the 1970s.

Come back all week for more photos from the farm. On Thursday I’ll share photos from the interior, the middle floor, which is furnished as it might have been in the Huddlestons’ time.

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History, Road Trips

The Huddleston Farmhouse

You’ll find Quaker influence up and down the National Road across Indiana, but most prominently in Wayne and Hendricks Counties. A prominent Quaker, John Huddleston, settled on this 78-acre site and built his home here, just west of Cambridge City, near the town of New Auburn in Wayne County. He built this house in 1841.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

In addition to being a home for his family (wife Susannah and 11 children), this house provided overnight lodging for National Road travelers. Guests slept on the first floor. The family’s kitchen, dining area, and parlor were on the second floor. The family’s bedrooms were on the third floor.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

This was also a working farm, with the outbuildings you’d expect to find in such a setting.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

I was most taken with the well house and this scene of the pump and barrel.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

Indiana Landmarks purchased the property in 1966; it has been their eastern regional office pretty much ever since. It’s open for tours Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings and by appointment. A farmer’s market is hosted here on Saturdays in July and August.

The Huddleston Farmhouse

I’ve yet to happen by when the farmhouse was open. We reached it this Saturday afternoon shortly after it had closed. Perhaps a special trip just to see its inside is in order.


I love the National Road! Check out everything I’ve written about it here.

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View from US 50 in Martin County, Indiana

US 50 winds gently through Martin County, Indiana, exiting the Hoosier National Forest and Martin State Forest just before it reaches the little town of Shoals, on the east fork of the White River. This is hilly country, unglaciated, unlike most of flatland Indiana to the north.

A little pulloff west of Shoals reveals this scene, forest surrounding the river, which doubles back here around farmland in the river bottom.

View from US 50 in Martin County, Indiana • Canon PowerShot S80 • August, 2010

Photography, Road Trips

Favorite Photos Week: View from US 50 in Martin County, Indiana

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View from US 50 in Martin County, Indiana

View from US 50 in Martin County, Indiana
Canon PowerShot S80 (review)
2010

Photography
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History, Preservation, Road Trips

Inside the round barn

My friend Dawn and I make at least one road trip together every year. I’ve always chosen the roads we’ve explored, but this year she said she really wanted to see some round barns. You can take the girl out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl, I guess! I had heard that Fulton County in northern Indiana has a number of round barns, so I looked them up and laid out the most efficient path to see them all.

The best of Fulton County’s round barns stands on State Road 25 about four miles north of Rochester.

The round barn

We stopped to look at it from the road as we had done for every other round barn on the trip. A fellow was playing with his dog in the yard and invited us up to look closer. He said he was the caretaker, and the owners allowed him to give tours inside. He threw open the doors and we stepped in.

Inside the round barn

Dawn said she could tell by the equipment inside that this had been a dairy barn. It turns out that during the round barn’s heyday in America, roughly 1880 to 1920, they were seen as an efficient and progressive way to house dairy cattle. Hay and feed was stored in the second level and was lowered to the first level.

Inside the round barn

The hay and feed could then be easily moved into these feeding troughs for the cows.

Inside the round barn

We climbed the stairs to the second level, where I was wowed by the construction details of the roof.

Inside the round barn

I imagine hay and feed was brought in through these doors and lifted up to the second level for storage.

Inside the round barn

As we left the barn, I almost stumbled over this tin toy car. Somehow it seemed appropriate to find it here.

Inside the round barn

Dawn and I were both very excited by our good fortune to have toured this barn. We lingered for a while after we’d seen everything just to soak it all in.

I may not naturally notice barns, but I can often spot homes that are log cabins beneath their vinyl siding. Check out these log-cabin photos from the Michigan Road.

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